Integration Archives | UnidosNow

2Gen Partnership Empowers Parents

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Thanks to the support of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s 2Gen initiative, UnidosNow and Tuttle Elementary School are partnering to implement an innovative engagement program for parents of Tuttle students. The curriculum, targeting English Learner parents, includes a national parent engagement model, Padres Comprometidos, and ESOL classes.

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Tuttle parents are participating in Padres Comprometidos, a field-tested parent engagement program developed by NCLR, which has met with great success throughout the United States, and which UnidosNow has been trained to implement. Its goal is to create a culture where children are expected to graduate from college by receiving support from their parents and community. The program helps parents build relationships with the school and other parents, as well as their own children; it also helps them develop goals for their children, from the early education years through high school, so that they can attend college.

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In addition, parents are attending on-site ESOL classes, with the goal of improving English speaking and listening skills. The adult learners all share a common interest in learning English to help their children, to communicate in society (teachers, doctors, shopping), and to improve employment opportunities.  Since the classes launched in October, participants have accomplished a strong understanding and pronunciation of the English alphabet, cardinal/ordinal numbers, pronouns, and personal information. But perhaps, most importantly, they are building self-confidence to speak and understand English.

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Early Voting Locations and Times

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Early voting starts on Monday, October 24. Please find below the locations where you can vote in your county.   There is even Saturday and Sunday voting.  Lines are much shorter or nonexistent during early voting, so it is particularly favorable for those who work or otherwise have tight schedules.

Vote By Mail Ballots may be turned into an early voting location.  They have a special container slot for them.  You can track your Vote By Mail ballots, whether you mail it in or turn it in at an early voting location, by visiting www.votemanatee.com, for those from Manatee County, and www.sarasotavotes.com, for those from Sarasota County.

SARASOTA COUNTY EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS, TIMES & DATES

Monday, October 24 – Saturday, November 5, from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm daily

  1. Sarasota Supervisor Of Elections Office – Terrace Bldg., 301 & Adams Lane (2001 Adams)
  2. North County Library – Newtown, 2801 Newtown Blvd.
  3. Fruitville Library – 100 Coburn Rd. (Fruitville, Just East Of I-75)
  4. Westfield Sarasota Square Mall – 8201 S. Tamiami Trail
  5. Venice Supervisor Of Elections Office – R.L. Anderson Admin Bldg, Room 114, 4000 Tamiami Trail, S., Venice
  6. North Port Supervisor Of Elections Office – Biscayne Plaza, 13640 Tamiami Trail

MANATEE COUNTY EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS, TIMES & DATES

Monday, October 24 – Saturday, November 5

October 24 – October 30, from  8am – 5pm

October 31 – November 5, from 7am – 7pm

  1. Supervisor Of Elections Office – 600   301 Blvd W., Bradenton
  2. West Manatee Fire & Rescue – 6417  3rd  Avenue W., Bradenton
  3. Lakewood Ranch Town Hall – 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.
  4. Palmetto Library – 923  6th Street W., Palmetto
  5. Rocky Bluff Library – 6750 U. S. Hwy 301, Ellenton

2Gen Partnership Empowers English Language Learners

Thanks to support from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s 2Gen initiative, UnidosNow and the Salvation Army have been able to implement an innovative English language instruction program for the Salvation Army’s Impact Families participants. Two ESOL-certified teachers lead this project. The adult English Language Learners, who attended the summer program, demonstrated an average of 60% gains in post-test results.

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Future Leaders Academy Scholars Speak to School Board of Manatee County

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Several of UnidosNow’s summer program participants had a special opportunity to share their experiences and excitement about the Future Leaders Academy with the Manatee County School Board and administration at their September 13th meeting.

These talented, enthusiastic young people also announced their plans to lead the development of UnidosNow clubs at their respective high schools during the 2016-17 academic year, so that the powerful college prep information and tools they gained during the summer can be shared with other students during the school year.

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UnidosNow touring colleges with “First Generation” future college students

Palmetto and Sarasota High School students visited four colleges and universities of different types in Central Florida. Students visited Southeastern University, UCF, Stetson and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in a two-day whirlwind tour. Six parents came along to learn about college life and college admission process.

Students’ Quotes

“The best part of this all was going to all of these fantastic schools and really getting a visual of just how great college life is going to be . I also got to gain very much needed information that will later help me in the future.”

“I really enjoyed having some of the admission people tell us the honest truth. Also how each university had its own unique feel and personality to it. I personally loved that so much. That each college is great in it’s own way like people are but some aren’t just for me. I also really enjoyed how the universities each had their own wag of presenting.”

“The best experience I got from our 2 day field trip was the seminar explaining UCF and their programs and also hearing the college student’s testimony. It was also sharing rooms with the other UnidosNow students and getting to know each other better. ”

“The best experience I had was when we visited UCF and the students who go there talked about their experience at UCF. But the girl who talked was just like if she knew what I was going through everything she said I can relate to how she felt she wasn’t good enough to go to a college like UCF and she made me feel really confident about myself and that I can go to any school I want and be anything I can in life”.

March Volunteer Meeting

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Please RSVP here

A message from Executive Director, Luz Corcuera

“Since joining the Dream Team of UnidosNow, I have been learning about the strengths of the organization. I am amazed at the number of talented and committed volunteers who share their valuable time and skills in myriad capacities.  Some work directly with students in the various settings where we engage young people, such as the high school clubs in Sarasota and Palmetto, the Future Leaders Academy, and others providing assistance at the FAFSA workshops we offer with our community partners.  And still other volunteers share their insight and expertise via UnidosNow’s several advisory boards.

While our team is mighty, it is also small, so without the invaluable support of our volunteers, we couldn’t accomplish our goal of leading low-income students and families to success.

We are committed to empowering young people who want to succeed and go to college but might not have access to other outlets or opportunities to help them do so.  While most of our clients are Hispanic, we have served Eastern European and Asian students, and we will never turn away a student who wants to participate in our programs.

We are inviting all of our volunteers to a meeting to have the opportunity to thank them and provide updates on our programs.  Please join us for our March volunteer meeting on Thursday, March 10th at 5:30 pm at the Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center, 1750 17th Street, Bldg. J-1- Loevner meeting room in Sarasota”.

Remember:

Thursday, March 10th

5:30pm

Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center

1750 17th Street, Bldg. J-1- Loevner meeting room

Sarasota, FL 34234

Please RSVP here

UnidosNow Speaks about Social Justice with Japanese Exchange Students

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A delegation of Japanese students are visiting St. Stephen’s Episcopal School as a part of a exchange program, and Mr. Patrick Whelan, Head of Social Studies, invited UnidosNow’s Executive Director Luz Corcuera to speak with the students.

The discussion was centered in social justice and peace. Issues of poverty, immigration, marginalization, education, and social determinants of health were explored. “This will be the generation crossing across the divides to create a just and peaceful world for our future generations”, Mrs. Corcuera explained.

Local initiative strives to broaden college access

As published in The Herald Tribune

Published: Monday, February 1, 2016 at 1:00 a.m.

As students immerse themselves in the second semester of this academic year, it is a good time to recognize that a quality education is essential to getting a good job, and that education and training are becoming the new “economic development currency.” The students of our greater Sarasota community no longer compete just with students from other states, they are competing with students from other countries. While the Sarasota County School District is one of the very best in Florida, we need all hands on deck to ensure that students can compete globally and can succeed on a positive career path locally.

A quality education now usually means additional steps after high school — college and/or focused training programs. In late 2015, our region’s Talent4Tomorrow coalition examined the barriers to post-secondary education and training. Not surprisingly, being unable to afford college or technical and specialized training programs was frequently identified as an obstacle.

In response, a collaborative effort is being made to help more of our young people advance beyond high school. The Local College Access Network is composed of representatives from more than 30 organizations that came together to increase educational attainment and workforce preparedness on the Suncoast. Because these goals are priorities of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, our organization has been happy to coordinate the efforts of LCAN — with key support from partners, including the CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

One of LCAN’s key projects is increasing the number of students and families who complete the most important financial assistance application.

Known as FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the only way to apply for federal student aid. Many states and colleges also use information from FAFSA to provide their own student aid. The FAFSA is currently available for the upcoming school year. It is best to fill it out as early as possible because some aid is first come, first served.

When individuals or families complete the FAFSA, they provide personal and tax information. If you’ve filed your taxes already, you may be able to automatically retrieve the information from the IRS. If you haven’t, just estimate your tax information and update it later.

The following facts confirm the importance of FAFSA completion:

Research we requested from the Florida College Access Network indicated that Sarasota County was “leaving $2.1 million of this free financial aid on the table.”

For every 10 percent a school increases its FAFSA completion rate, its college-going rate increases 3 percent.

Florida ranks 35th in FAFSA completion, but is the fifth highest state in eligibility for federal Pell Grants, which are based largely on financial need.

Students who complete the FAFSA in January through March receive twice as much state/institutional funding as students who complete the FAFSA later.

If 5 percent more Florida students were to complete the FAFSA this year, it would equal an additional $8 million in Pell dollars awarded.

Students and their families can get information about, and assistance with, FAFSA several ways:

Go to: www.fafsa.ed.gov

Visit the United Way Financial Empowerment Expo between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Feb. 6, at North Sarasota Library.

Attend special events where trained volunteers will help you complete the application: Feb. 11, 2 to 8 p.m. in the North Port High School cafeteria; and Feb. 21, 1 to 4 p.m. at Sarasota High School, Building 13, Room 101; and the Sarasota YMCA’s FAFSA Day at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus Feb. 27, 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Call 211 (the community Helpline); Star Conti, Sarasota High School: 941-955-0181; Kristen McMahon, Riverview High School: 941-923-1484; Rose Beach, North Port High School: 941-423-8558 or your student’s school counselor.

The incredible community collaboration that is increasing awareness of, and access to, the form and assistance in its completion has been fantastic. Just a few examples are that United Way has added FAFSA support to its successful tax assistance program (known as VITA). Financial Aid representatives from State College of Florida, University of South Florida—Sarasota/Manatee, and Ringling College, along with representatives from the Education Foundation, Unidos Now, the Chamber’s Young Professionals Group, and other groups are volunteering. The district is dedicating additional guidance counselor support; community organizations like Take Stock in Children and ALSO Youth have helped to plan and organize the events. Plus, the Sarasota Film Festival sponsored a video contest that tapped student creativity in getting out the FAFSA message.

Please help the new Local College Access Network increase understanding of FAFSA’s importance and awareness of the types of assistance available to help families apply. More students getting these aid dollars will help them, our employers, and the total community.

Steve Queior is president of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce; the Chamber has made improving educational outcomes and workforce preparedness one of its top strategic goals.

#GivingTuesday College Wish List

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Tax-deductible student sponsorship available!

Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of this international giving day and our College Prep Sponsorship! We have a day to give thanks, two for getting deals, and now it’s time for the #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back.

Today, December 1st, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

During the #GivingTuesday you can help us create a college prep library in our schools. This is what we need:

  • 50 ACT Prep books
  • 25 Fiske Guide books
  • 2 laptops
  • 25 tablets
  • A large television screen notebooks
  • And binders

It costs $1,200 per student. Sponsor a scholar today! Or sponsor our College Tour for $600.

You can email Catalina at catalina@unidosnow.org if you are interested in this tax deductible opportunity to help more students, and to learn more.

All this is tax deductible! Get a write off today!

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